Youtube CEO: it will be impossible to comply with the EU's new Copyright Directive (adios, Despacito!)

Under Article 13 of the new EU Copyright Directive, it will no longer be enough for online platforms to remove materials if someone claims they infringe copyright; instead, the platforms will have to prevent the display of any copyrighted material that has not been explicitly licensed for distribution.

In a new blog post, Youtube CEO Susan Wojcicki continues her series of posts about the impossibility of complying with this rule.

Wojcicki considers the example of Youtube's all-time most popular video, Despacito, which has been cleared for Youtube by its creator, but whose "multiple copyrights" include some works whose proprietors are unknown or disputed. Under Article 13, Youtube would be expected to censor this video and deny the creators involved the opportunity to earn the small fortune in ad revenue that Youtube has paid them, as well as access to the 5.6 billion (!) viewings the video has received.

The consequences of article 13 go beyond financial losses. EU residents are at risk of being cut off from videos that, in just the last month, they viewed more than 90bn times. Those videos come from around the world, including more than 35m EU channels, and they include language classes and science tutorials as well as music videos. We welcome the chance to work with policymakers and the industry to develop a solution within article 13 that protects rights holders while also allowing the creative economy to thrive. This could include more comprehensive licensing agreements, collaboration with rights holders to identify who owns what, and smart rights management technology, similar to Content ID.

The Potential Unintended Consequences of Article 13 [Susan Wojcicki/Youtube Blog]